Argus Alerts – January 2023


Argus Alerts

For the last couple of years one of our members has been writing regular synopses of relevant news items published in The Argus to inform the committee of items of interest on a day to day basis.

As these form a useful historical record as well as being informative (and often include asides which are both pertinent and entertaining), we have decided to post them on the members’ page on the Brighton Society website exclusively for Society members.

Because they represent only the views of the author we make no claims about the accuracy or otherwise of the reports, but trust that the wider membership will find them as informative and entertaining as the committee have over the last 24 months.

The notes often include abbreviations.  The commonest of these are:

PMacC or Phelim C            Phelim Mac Cafferty (Green cllr, council leader)

ETS cttee                               Environment, Transport & Sustainability committee

P&R                                        Policy & Resources committee

TECC cttee                           Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee

LGA                                        Local Government Association



BADGE                                  Brighton Access for Disabled Groups Everywhere

Tuesday 31
Page 8  Water company should pay to keep toilets open  says cllr Zoe John, to compensate for sewage going into the sea. Would create positive things for the city and create positive understanding that Souther Water is trying its best and that it’s going to move forward. Dr Willison of Southern Water said “We will look at what we might be able to do from a communit point of view. I’m not promising anything but we will look at that.” Labour cllr Bella Sankey told him “Your company poses a public health risk to our residents.”  Why wasn’t chief executive there (at an “exchange” at Hove Town Hall) cllrs wanted to know. [This was at a committee meeting, I think, but it is badly reported]  
Page 10 Letters.  How long will ridiculous toilet situation continue? asks Ron James of Portslade. Portslade now a toilet-free area – there are none, nearest is two miles away at Hove Lagoon. Advised to use Portslade Library but it is open only 4 days a week, and closed at lunchtime. 
Grave danger, warns Laura King of Fs of B&H Cit. Action Gp.  Days after King Alf pool closed for boiler repairs, find that a new West Hub Leisure Centre is being trumpeted as it it’s already in the pipeline and a done deal. Where is the money coming from – too broke to keep loos open. Invited to “have your say” but looks as if most of the decisions have already been made and is just a box ticking sham. Why can’t KA be refurbished with all locked away space including the subway reopened?  Know it’s been neglected for years and hope of selling lucrative public site to developers once a valid excuse found to close or condemn the KA. It includes community meeting rooms, indoor sports courts and large function room which would be lost. In grave danger of losing one of Hove’s only public and affordable assets, dressed up as a scheme for our benefit.
Page 16 Building plan for site where trees were cut down. Plot next to Hillside, Ovingdean. New 5-bed house with revised landscaping plans. Previous proposal overshadowed by concerns over trees. Decision deferred. Has been a site visit. Officers advise approval. Would be obliged to follow a planting scheme. Trees had been unlawfully felled and others irreversibly damaged. Council arboricultural and legal teams say proposals are “acceptable mitigation”.
Page 23  We can’t wait for it to be buzzing with life again. Hippodrome. New pictures reveal backstage works. Photographed by David Streeter of Save Brighton Hippodrome group. Most expansive tour we’ve ever been on. Difficult to appreciate the scale of it. Fly tower to be converted into a rehearsal space for performers. Amendment from flexible office space initially suggested. Simon Lambor, director of Matsim Properties said it’s been great to meet the Save Our Hippodrome members again to update them on repairs and plans whilst hearing stories of their crusade to save the building. Lovely to see how a group of individuals become great friends around the love for this building. Shows how special it is. 
Page 24  Gaming studio moves to new development. City’s biggest gaming studio has moved into Circus Street. Electric Square. Involved in internationally recognised games. Brighton a global city that attracts world-class talent. 
Monday 30
Page 6  League table!  Brilliant for book lovers. Fifth in list of  top places for book lovers, says  “Creative and culturally rich environment.”  We beat Cardiff and “places in the Lake District” but we are not told who won. 
Page 8  Work to start to prop up parts of Madeira Terrace.  Temporary structural propping work to four of the 152 bays. Steelwork to be installed at four locations. A fig tree will have to be coppiced. Where plants are growing at high level in the bays and covering the beams on the underside of the arches, they will be cut back to allow a structural inspection. [Does that mean weeds?]  Will also remove metal and timber debris. It will be “carefully” managed to ensure the Green Wall is protected …  No pesticides !!  
Page 12  Have your say on future of the King Alfred site. Workshops and drop in sessions over next few weeks. Possible options are acquiring a privately-owned site in the west of the city, building on an alternative council owned site or building on the current site. [No info on how to participate.]
Page 15  Cllrs under fire over their “shameful behaviour”.  Cllr Pete West has a go at them over the level of complaints about cllr behaviour. Take the matter in hand. Corrosive on the council’s reputation and expensive to investigate when looking for savings. Tories worst offenders. Political groups should guide repeat offenders – seven cllrs were subject of more than one complaint. Significant problem with attitude of some cllrs who do not engage with process. Lab cllr Daniel Yates says “Frankly from what observed at meetings in person and on web, there has been a deterioration in the behaviour or cllrs at the very thing that should be fundamental to what they do, to come to a meeting and discuss stuff.”  
Page 16 Tennis club in bid to build a new pavilion.  Hove Park Tennis Alliance has applied for permission to build a pavilion next to the courts it leases from council. Officers recommend refusal. Unacceptable accumulation of development around a council owned white mulberry tree, damaging its root system [Quick – find a mulberry tree on the gas works site]  Harm to visual amenities of the area and local biodiversity. Twelve comments in support and one objection.  Image of design shows a lot of vertical lines, and some horizontal ones – and a bicycle. [How cynical is that !! Put in a bike for sure fire acceptance.]
Saturday 28
Page 2  Urgent review after i360 fails to pay loan again.  Council’s external auditors, Grant Thornton, say that despite restructuring loan last year, i360 could not make £900,000 due in December. This suggested the loan cost was a more significant risk and could affect the council’s finances over the medium to long term. Must review options fully to clarify medium to long term impact. Emphasise importance for urgent review of options and current structure of the loan, to come to a realistic view of what repayment the council is likely to recoup … and be able to include accurate forecast of the impact on the council’s financial sustainability. Says current arrangements to monitor the business are “sufficient”.  For discussion at next P&R cttee..  The loan was supported by former Green council leader Jason Kitcat and former Con. opposition leader Geoffrey Theobald, but not by Warren Morgan the Labour minority leader. The only payment received last year was £700,000 in June.
Page 11  Tory Talk, Steve Bell.  Empty council offices cost the taxpayer money. Council offices remain largely empty, three years on from pandemic. Some department only have one day a month when staff are required to attend in person, for a morning meeting.  City one of last in the UK to open again, has not returned to anything like pre-pandemic pattern of working.  Seems less and less likely council staff will ever return. Should taxpayers be paying for maintaining and heating empty offices?  Going to ask at full council next week. Council’s finances in a mess, and buildings now significantly under-utilised, is council wasting money?  Has several large sites, Bartholomew House, Norton Road and housing centre in Moulsecoomb. Calling for a report on cost-benefit of downsizing to include occupation of council buildings, and potential benefit by leasing empty office space or selling unneeded premises. Town Halls empty and lifeless. No longer meeting places. Many resident complaints. Tonbridge Wells have done something along these lines, ditto Canterbury. Need creative fresh thinking. 
Thursday 26
Cover, page 5  Pool Passage. After long campaign the gate has been installed, but sadly the lock doesn’t work…  Once a new one has been installed the gate will be locked from 7pm-9am daily, carried out by residents. Already a huge improvement they say. 
Page 4  A league table – City’s great for live music says online casino Slingo. Ranked according to number of venues as well as forthcoming festivals. London top, Brighton seventh. Brighton has produced 34 top artists and can look forward to more than 400 upcoming concerts and 13 festivals in the coming months [We are not told in how many coming months.]
Major e-vehicle rally set to visit Brighton. Returns to Madeira Drive for third year, and this year will continue on to Paris. Tom Druitt is the co-founder [assume it is the city cllr though it doesn’t say so]partnered this year with EDF. And sponsored by Motability.
Page 5  Hundreds flock to beach to see starlings. Following them being shown on BBC Winterwatch when they obliged with a murmuration, but this time they just went straight to roosting. Steve Geliot of Save Our Starlings campaign says it was 5,000 people. They claim victory for persuading council to protect starlings in their new downland estate plan. 
Page 6  14,000 trees to be planted to fight deadly disease. To regenerate ash die-back devastation. 2000 to be planted in Coldean next week. Part of council’s ash dieback regeneration plan. Planting over three months at sites in Woodingdean, Moulsecoomb and Westdene, Wild Park, Coney Wood and Abinger Woods. About 10,000 diseased trees have been felled so far, many more to come. Will be another 70,000 tree whips planted in 2024.
Page 10 Letters.  Dreams of loos – Patrick Palmer of Rigden Road dreams of day city will be heaving under number of tourists come to admire and try out world class toilets; that they are sufficient in number, renowned for cleanliness, freedom from drugs, zero graffiti and copied elsewhere from wonderful reputation they have brought us. 
Page 11  Council dreams – G Upton re failure of bid for funding for Madeira Terrace. Is a pity council didn’t think it was a “great project” when it should have been maintained in past. Apparently application included 200-year-old green wall this council took down! It will have applied for grants for cycle lanes, Western Road, Valley Gardens, Kingsway to the Sea, just how many bites to they want of the cherry? Or still believe in money trees? Minister for Levelling Up may be aware of lack of council financial management and external auditor’s annual report about focus on finances needed.  If PMacC didn’t keep building unwanted cycle lanes and making road “improvements” money could be allocated to the levelling up fund. 
Page 14  Cllrs: ‘Mean’ budget is terrible news for park users.  Cllrs Dawn Barnett and nick Lewry upset re effect “mean” council cuts could have on parks particularly Greenleas Park, Hangleton, their patch. Council targeting parks because they have lost control of public toilet finances, they say. People up in arms. Take some accountability or resign. Sports teams may no longer be able to use venue. They have set up a petition. 
Page 19  Wildlife news. Flamingo escapes from zoo. Staff from Drusillas seen looking flustered, everyone else amused. It was re-captured safely in about 20 minutes. 
Wednesday 25

Page 6  Tennis court takeover bid  Community Interest Company (CIC) Blakers Park has put in a proposal to manage and operate the two public courts at Blakers Park. Public consultation. Being done under a process called community asset transfer (CAT).  This allows sports clubs and community groups to manage facilities and generate investment for upgrading and maintenance. Facilities remain available for public use. 
Bowls pavilion and hedges axed for new scheme.   Regeneration  of “run down and under-used spaces in west Hove”.  Kingsway to the Sea. Preparatory work of £13m development will start next month with some hedges due for the axe as well as demolition of bowls pavilion. Hedges removed to install required slope, ramp and steps essential to create accessible routes across the new park. Got to be done before the birds start nesting. More than 600 new trees will be planted in compensation. 
Page 10 Letters. Toiletgate continues. Use of public toilet is a basic human right says Neil Kelly of Tredcroft Road. Virtue-signalling Greens have realised there is a need to address their finances. Substantial budget deficit. So they blame the government. Proposal for savings is to close public toilets. This affects us all and appears ludicrous, but research reveals that use of a public toilet is a basic human right. See Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Are a lifeline for disabled people and families. Clearly serious predicament for Greens. Should be public disclosure of all their expenditure – are they spending vast sums on stupid schemes such as unnecessary and unwanted cycle lanes in vendetta against motorists, despite cars being essential in today’s world. Parking charges are astronomical so people are not visiting – result – loss of income from tourists and a city in decline. 
21st century? queries Corinne Blass of address supplied. Agree about park toilet closures. But what if just want to go for a walk on the seafront? Have a coffee and …   OK for men, go in a bush. But rows of squatting ladies in the bushes adjacent to seafront? Better buy shares in Tena. Is this really the 21C ?
Page 11  I’m off ASAP says Sue Lynam of Hove. Need to provide cheaper buses or charge for road use to stop car usage. Ban huge American cars with just one person in them. Hardly anybody uses the cycle lane in Brighton, pollution from stationary cars is horrendous. I will be moving ASAP due to traffic pollution, high rise flats, too many students, too may homeless. Once Brighton amalgamated with Hove, nail went into coffin. £25m in fines from motorists – where is that going? Huge cycle lanes, no movement for cars, stupid. 
Pages 20-21  Past and present merge into one. Ben Harvey from Shoreham has spent the last five years getting the angles “just right” to merge historic scenes of Brighton with their modern counterparts. Pictures from 2022 overlaid with those from 1800s. Worked with the Regency Society archive photos. Had to tweak contrast and perspective..
Tuesday 24
Page 10 Letters
Everyone needs to use a toilet… even cyclists says Keith Wells of Hollingbury. Interesting sequence of headlines last week – plans to close public toilets and then plans to make another cycle lane. Motorist hating council searching for opportunities to put the boot in. Cameras a nice little earner. And “heroes of the road” are allowed to ride thorough red lights, weave between pedestrians and generally take no notice of Highway Code – and pay not tax or insurance. Walk on seafront, lovely day, hundreds out walking, say only a couple of cyclists using double width cycle lanes. Would have expected lots on most favourable bits of road in Brighton. Plans to close toilets outrageous, should be building more. All very well to blame government but council has a choice about what spend limited budget on. Not everyone rides a bike, but everyone needs to use a toilet, even cyclists. 
Loo petition  Mary A Courtney of Worthing draws attention to government petition to make it a legal requirement for LAs to provide public toilets. Go to
Please get rid  says name and address supplied. Long letter listing views on council’s financial incompetence. 
Monday 23

Page 2  Government throws out £9m bid for the arches. To have been for the eastern 865m of the arches. Included plans for the green wall and better access for deprived areas. Restoration already agreed not affected. Massively disappointed. “Cutting council funding across the country by billions over more than a decade while forcing councils to bid against each other for ever-shrinking smaller pots of money is dreadfully short-sighted way to run local government. Appalling waste of council resources and staff time. Huge uncertainty. Opposite of what we need for sustainable investment, means unable to plan for longer term.” So says PMacC and I guess he has a point. “… (they should) release proper sums of regeneration funding to councils so that we can decide locally how we are going to spend it.” Ministers insisted areas outside London and SE received more money per capita in the round of bidding. 
Page 4  Landmark fountain ‘disappears’ overnight. Victoria Fountain now fenced off for restoration work to begin. 
Page 8  Council makes more than £20m profit on parking. Year 2021/22. Cost £11m to enforce parking charges with appeals admin and new schemes. Still left surplus of more than £20m, a 35% increase on previous year, explained as being a Covid recovery indication. They spent £10.6m on concessionary travel and £1.45m on public transport. By law, surplus has to be spent on provision of public transport services or on road, air quality or environmental improvements. [So plenty there to mend some pot holes.] [Not clear how this ties in with reports to cttees of drastic fall in parking etc revenue.]
Page 10 Letters. More on toilets:  
Spare a thought for those with Crohns/colitis and IBS says Stephanie Hike of Peacehaven – are many – need to plan outings with toilets in mind, do have radar keys for disabled toilets but guess they will be closed too. Will be urinating and defecating in the open or will have to ask a local shopkeeper/cafe. Is this what city wants to portray?
Residents unite urges Christopher Gould of Georgia Avenue Worthing. Majority object, will probably be ignored as not organised like Unions which can legally strike. Could a Brighton residents’ union be formed? Hold a rates strike? Legal?? – someone please advise. Could pressurise council into doing work it’s paid to do. 
Odd priorities, says Lara Jay of Eastern Road. What a shower. Surely more important to have public toilets than do up Pavilion Gardens? No-one will come to see the gardens if no toilets left in town. All a mess, need to encourage visitors, get priorities right. Eastbourne and Worthing have toilets open so like others I go there for a good day out. 
Chaos looms says Eric Waters. Recent Argus headline: Man collected over 40kg of dog poo on walking trail. Future Argus headline: Man collects 400kg of kiddie poo following the closure of toilets in play parks. 
Page 11 Hedy Lamarr – Brian Meredith of Mill Drive found her interesting as well as me. When she died in Florida she was cremated and her ashes were returned to Austria and spread in the Vienna Woods. Is a memorial to her in the Vienna Central Friedhof (cemetery) and you can get there from the centre of town on a No. 71 tram. [Not many people know that.]
I do like Mondays by Ian Chisnall.  Funding would benefit many of our communities. Long article on levelling up funding as it affects Sussex.
Page 12  More complaints about city’s cllrs than any others. Many relate to comments on social media and an external trainer has been helping cllrs learn about “challenges and opportunities” of using it. [At what cost?]  Two investigations have cost £5000. Eleven unnamed cllrs were subject of complains, 7 with two or more and Robert Nemeth had 9 although he is not named. [?? these figures don’t add up]  Anyway there are lots more than other places, WSCC had 4, ESCC 3, Southampton one which did not require investigation and Bristol 5. [Now it goes on to say there were 26 complaints …  give up]
Saturday 21
Page 2  A dark chapter ahead with few options left.  PMacC broods over budget difficulties. “In a cynical new low, the week the government should have been providing adequate funding for councils in their budget, they advertised for future commissioners who will be sent into councils to run them when they declare bankruptcy.”
Page 8  Public toilet débâcle is council’s own fault, say Tories. [This seems to be a further report of the ETS cttee meeting reported on Thursday – repetition omitted.]  [It’s a much more detailed account of Robert Nemeth’s attack on council for cancelling the private contract and taking the work in-house.]
Wildlife corner:  Eddie Lizard the iguana is safely rehomed after being found abandoned on a freezing day. It was 3C and he should have been under a heat lamp. Found in Chiswick but homed in Brighton with the RSPCA – who have 10 others all looking for homes. 
Page 11 Tory Talk Steve Bell.  Other councils do not have these problems. Another go at the council on both loos and parking charges. Council must put basic services first.
Page 12  Warning after significant rock falls on the seafront. Raining rocks. Keep away
Friday 20
New 5-mile seafront cycle highway. Lane next to A259 to link Hove and Shoreham. Cover and page 4.  West Sussex CC and Adur DC in cahoots over a proposed two-way cycle lane, separated from road and footpath but are pinch points preventing a clear run through. Go to 
Page 10 Letters
Parking charges show council’s hypocrisy says G Upton. Press full of advice to take exercise before medication. Council plans to start parking charges for all car parks near parks or walking routes, and already in Stanmer Park. Hypocrisy saying taking measures to ensure people can walk and cycle more safely and then bring in charges in middle of cost of living crisis so people have to pay. Sports clubs for children – parents have to pay to take them. Two-thirds of adults in England are over weight and one in three school children. Council doing nothing to encourage change. So much for active travel. 
Facts and Figures from Eric Waters. Council to discuss cutting budget for public toilets by £300,000 or 33%. There are 33 public toilets in city, and figures show mean average cost of maintenance is £27,420 each. Close 18 for good and you’ve saved £493,560 plus perhaps another £50,000 for closing another seven in the winter. So the 33% reduction claimed is actually a 60% one of £543,500. Much more of this and there won’t be any and council will have getting on for £1m extra for cycle hangars, bike and bus lanes, and new fuses for Madeira Terrace’s new neon lights that keep shorting. 
Page 14  Restoration near to completion.  Dome, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre in final stage. Much work done, all listed, marvellous marvellous. Funded from all over. Fingers crossed they have included some loos.
Thursday 19
Cover, page 2  War over toilet closures. Plans for closure are in limbo after opposition cllrs voted against them. Heated debate, particularly about toilets in parks. I think this was at the ETS cttee, not entirely clear from the report, but the proposals have not been stopped in their tracks and are still proceeding through the system. Bad report. “The proposals to close 18 public toilets from April 1 will go to budget council for debate on February 28 if voted through.” If voted through where? I think it must be at a P&R cttee on February 9th. Report lists all the toilets affected. If it goes through only 8 toilets will remain open all year round:  Hove Cemetery north, Hove Lagoon, Kings Esplanade, Lawn Memorial Woodingdean, Park Road Rottingdean, Saltdean Undercliff, Shelter Hall and Station Road Portslade. 
Page 3  Max could be on the move. Max Miller could be relocated to New Road under plans to renovate Pavilion Gardens to former Regency era glory. Back to its original location in 2005, it was moved in 2007 during pedestrianisation. Hedley Swain says its current location is “not ideal”. Cramped space, close to bin area and trees. Consultants recommend back onto New Road would be better. More easily viewed and closer to theatre area. But John Henty of the Max M. Appreciation Soc. said would not back plan to move it. “We are in consultation … but were happy with move in 2007 for range of reasons … we feel it is in the right place now and it cannot be legally moved without our approval.” He was very important to Brighton and to comedy.
Page 8  Cost of parking set to rise.  As cycle lanes and other “active travel” measures make a dent in council revenues. Rise from April likely. Report says: ” .. becoming increasingly difficult to attain income targets from increased prices over last few years and city is losing parking spaces as a result of active travel measures. The underachievement is partly a result of .. reduction of permit and paid parking spaces due to active travel measures over past 2 years, will be further reductions following schemes on A259, A23, liveable neighbourhoods, communal bins, schools streets, Valley Gardens Phase 3, Madeira Terraces and cycle hangars.  Resident permits are declining in some areas. 
Page 10 Letters.  
More houses … but where is the infrastructure? asks Cllr Dawn Barnett. Council wants to build more and more houses but has not put infrastructure in place to go with it. Doctors, dentists, transport etc. Is a major infrastructure backlog in city. It is sitting on almost £24m of unspent developer contributions meant to pay for infrastructure to offset developments. Why not spending it? Council must stop voting for developments that cause strain on community particularly on urban fringe land which are unwanted by residents. [I think it is the development that is unwanted, not the urban fringe.]
Massive challenge says Tim Ingram of address supplied. Yet another column from leader bemoaning government funding cuts but must be clear we all face massive challenges to maintain a secure economy. Balancing the books while providing for those in need will always be a challenge. Green/Lab council has responsibility to serve residents. Closing public amenities, failing to maintain verges, parks and roads, worst recycling figures in the country and imposing ideological projects without consultation is not serving the electorate. Don’t blame government, put own house in order. Next election …
Page 11 Completely irrelevant but interesting:  On this day in 2000 Hollywood actress Hedy Lamarr died, aged 85. In the late 1990s she was recognised for inventing a method of ensuring that torpedo signals could not be jammed, she had invented it in 1942. It’s automatic frequency switching, now standard in GPS and lots more. Moral: people can surprise you with hidden talents, so no stereotyping. 
Page 16  Constant rock falls close Undercliff Walk. Marina to Saltdean. “Constant and significant chalk fall.”
Tuesday 17
Page 4  Toilets petition grows. Now more than 1,300 signatures in 24 hours. Runners in parks use toilets all the time. How can you organise a parkrun with no toilets? Staff at Chalet care in Preston Park will have nowhere to go. Saving £300,000 relatively small considering the scale of the problem. Can sign the petition on line until 8 February. 
Page 10 Letters. Four letters, all about toilets. Cllrs Dawn Barnett and Cllr Nick Lewry blame council decision to take management of toilets in house last year. All hell has broken loose. The provate contract had 5 years to run, people should not suffer for ineptitude.   S Zapello refers to possible 75p charge, by card, saying many businesses refuse cards for less than £5 because of admin charges, so how much of 75p will be lost? Choice of pre-paid cards – where get them? No face to face service in council buildings and no Tourist Office. Other cities in south do not have outrageous charges (not exorbitant parking charges) but don’t have Green councils. It’s guilty of mismanagement of public finances:  raiding toilet budget for Kingsway project; not pursuing i360;  expensive consultations on pet projects and not following advice given;  no clear evidence of need for Valley Gardens. Need is natural, as a city in a developed country, why are we debating it?  S Zapello says closing toilets before maintenance work starts is poor management. Jubilee Library is a public toilet by default, and a warm space. Why close so many several months before works were going to begin? Do one at a time.   Val Cane asks if the council wants us to use green and open spaces. I went to Stanmer Park, found toilets by cafe closed like Fort Knox, and did just that. Men could pee through the bars into the loo. We are human beings not farm animals, don’t treat us with such disrespect. 
Page 14  How to make your home earn its keep. New on line calculator gives realistic idea of how to boost income by renting rooms on AirBnB. Goes through practical considerations. In Brighton it reckons you can get an average of £49.20 a night. 
Private renters deserve better, says union. Census results show a third of city residents rent privately. About 25% own outright, 26.3% via mortgage or loan, and 9.5 rent from council. In Brunswick, 59.2% of homes are rented from a landlord or letting agency. Community union Acorn say issues around private renting are the biggest issue faced by our members and resident we speak to [Well, it would be, wouldn’t it?]
Pages 18-19  Saltdean Lido want memories of its past to help celebrate its reopening. Would love to hear from people with happy memories. email
Page 24  Nearly two thirds of small businesses in the city say they are at risk of closure this year says research by Towergate Insurance. “Obtaining talent” the greatest threat, with high inflation, changing consumer demands and retaining uniqueness. 
Wednesday 18th January.
Page 6  Almost 11,000 people visited the Royal Pavilion and museum as part of a free entry weekend. 
Page 8  Big drop in number of houses occupied by students. Fallen by 600 in past three years, says council. P&R told will be estimated 4766 homes solely occupied by students in 2023-24 excluding halls of residence. Figure expected to continue to fall. Means more payable in council tax.
Page 10 Letters
Pothole problem needs to be resolved properly says Richard Bates, a Cycling UK campaigner in Sussex. Bane of cyclists’ lives. Same potholes reported multiple times and repairs poorly executed. Roads look shoddy, repeated repairs are expensive and defects lead to claims for damage. Has expenditure been agreed for a possible 10 year backlog? And look at the pavements – we are encouraged to walk more and be healthier but risk tripping over. 
Page 11 No loo warning says Henrdrik Woolf of Furze Hill. Council should advise all visitors to Madeira Arches where new neon lights cost £25,000 what to do if caught short. Have a duty to warn that there aren’t any in that area or anywhere nearby. Should be made clear in future publicity when claiming it is such a wonderful place to visit. 
Page 16  Old Brewery Portslade. Gym wins vote to open at controversial site. Change of use agreed on casting vote of chairman. 
Monday 16

Page 2  Save our art deco bus shelters from vandals.  Half a page for us!  We have slammed the council for failing to protect Grade II* listed bus shelters which are covered in graffiti and have their windows smashed out. Council plans to repurpose them but BSoc accused council of allowing them to become run down before letting businesses pick up the repair work. A spokesman (who he/her?) said thet are ub appalling state and poorly maintained. Disrespectful to heritage. Council apologised for their state and weather permitting they will be cleaned. Do not have resources to clean them more frequently. In long term looking at whether can put them to new uses in a way that conserves their listed structures. 
Page 4  Gardner Street pedestrianised from today for 6 hours daily – 11am-5pm seven days a week. 
Page 5  Old Reading Room is being restored. Grade II listed, together with Temple buildings being restored as part of Black Rock rejuvenation project. Built in 1835 and designed by William KendallFloor to ceiling glazing to southern elevations to retain sea views and works to provide flat outdoor spaces for seating. Being let as a new cafe. The Temple will also be let as a cafe in the spring. 
Page 10 Letters.
Works on Western Road are not worth it, says Rob Heale of Chatham Place. Because of problems caused to thousands of bus users, businesses and local residents. Diversions for 18 months. Traffic issues for local residents. Failure to properly consult those affected. Access issues. Smaller changes would have caused less disruption and be done in evenings and Sundays. Park and Ride would have been more effective in helping to reduce traffic congestion whilst improving bus usage. Whether it’s all justified is debatable. (Alarming photo of van trying to squeeze past a bus, taking up all the pavement)
Argus comment, on Gardner Street. Some will welcome it, some don’t particularly disabled [Always so balanced …]  Promoting the interests of businesses and creating dedicated spaces for shoppers to enjoy must be balanced with ensuring accessibility for everyone. 
Page 11  Chemical fears, says Stewart Stone of B&H Lib Dems.  Gas works site. Site previously ruled out for housing by council on grounds of poisonous chemicals under ground which should not be distrurbed. Have not see the developer make a proposal as to how this will be removed without causing serious environmental hazards to streets and water course. No permission should be granted until a viable and costed proposal for decontamination is approved by the relevant authorities. We support reclamation of site and building homes but not on scale proposed. And not before viable and scientifically proven means are established for decontamination. 
Saturday 14
Page 4  Bid for huge rise in hut fees shelved… for now. Plan sparked outrage. Idea shelved before it was due to be debated, with claims it was to allow more consultation but email seen by Argus quotes “external legal advice means we will not be able to bring forward the proposals at this point”. Cllr Robert Nemeth pleased that Tories’ legal challenge has been successful – he had described it as a sales tax. Vote in May to oppose this jealousy-based taxation, will only come back after election if don’t. Council say intention is to bring a report to a future meeting following more consultation. 
Page 6  Plans to charge 75p to use the seafront toilets. [Great Scott, that’s 15/- ] Plan to be debated next Tuesday. Chargeable on toilets once refurbished and payment by card only. Only 50p away from the seafront. To help reduce budget shortfall and supplement current public toilet budget. At very rough estimate might raise £120,000. Have been researching options for those without cards e.g. pre-paid cards. Even this not enough to prevent at least 10 toilets being closed. Two listed for closure are beside popular cafés, owners not told till cllr Bridget Fishleigh told them. Local residents painted one of them because they appreciated it so much. Much other outrage. Council says not happy, but no choice due to £20m funding shortfall. 
Page 9  PMacC announces he will stand for re-election in May, as will deputy leader Hannah Allbrooke in Brunswick and Adelaide. Green candidates announced also for 7 other wards. 
Page 10 Argus Comment. Public toilets are a basic service we all need. Never mind spending a penny, council wants 75p. All know council in a tricky financial position but 75p to use a toilet? Really?  Surely is a basic service council bound to provide. Already been an outcry over closures, this will spark more. Is already a petition going. Does council want us to use city’s green and open spaces? Odd way to encourage people to visit seafront and parks. Elderly, those with special needs??  Council needs to think again on this one. 
Page 11  Tory Talk. Steve Bell. Why is council targeting beach hut owners?  (Rehearsal of what was proposed)  Following an 11th hour legal challenge by Con cllr Samer Bagaeen, proposal has been withdrawn while council considers its legal position. Claim was that any forced changes to owners’ existing contracts would lead to protracted legal battles. Five years ago Cons fought off a similar attempt by Labour, and as a result cllr Robert Nemeth set up the Hove Beach Hut Association so owners have some representation. Beach huts iconic part of city. Owners come from many walks of life, some don’t have gardens. Make a positive contribution with colourful huts, stands out in face of increasing graffiti blight. Raise money for charity. Deserve support but were not consulted, indictment of council’s consultation processes. Adds to list of groups ignored as policies forced through. Owners left with fewer facilities and are have to clear up general vandalism and graffiti themselves. 
Friday 13 

Page 4  £87m homes plan is approved.  Moulsecoomb Hub. Total of 212 homes plus library, doctors’ surgery, pharmacy, cafe, youth services and shop, 3G sports pitches, skate park and play areas. Council acknowledges that some neighbours were unaware of public consultation. One spoke at meeting and said she had spoken to 100 homes along Hodshrove Road and none knew of consultation or the public meetings. She knew people who had been, but from North Moulsecoomb, not area most affected. Another resident said current traffic-free nature walk will become an over-looked dark, dense car park. Twittens will have nature and views replaced by tall buildings. He saw a brochure which made car park look like a green area with trees using CGI. Need for more services in area highlighted. It is among the 5% most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. Council’s agent, Savills, said 100% affordable housing for local people. Cllr Sue Shanks said were lessons to be learnt re consultation, do need to make sure we take residents with us. Should now be an event to explain what has been agreed. Fellow Green cllr Marianna Ebel said were several large private schemes in Goldsmid where no public consultation with neighbours had taken place, and understood residents’ frustrations. Indep cllr Nick Childs said council would need to work hard to rebuild trust with the community. Passed unanimously by those allowed to vote.
Page 8  Hospital helipad delayed by fears over cladding. Opening delayed again, was due to open in 2019. Delays due to Covid, now specialists fear panels could be blown off the sides of the tower. Top 10m to be reattached, opening delayed to autumn. Otherwise complete. And no, it is not too small. 
Page 10 Letters.  Pothole repair is the priority not ‘street art’ says Chris Gould of Georgia Avenue, Worthing. Disgusted by photo showing latest graffiti in Madeira Drive, then shocked that council paid £25k for it. Wasting electricity too. Is council’s duty to remove graffiti not pay to cause it. In same issue was photo of car damaged by large pothole. Would be better to spend money maintaining the roads than pay for the damage caused by negligence, £25k could have helped with maintenance. Cllrs should pay for vanity projects themselves, not squander tax payer money. In India potholes are filled with scrap plastic and burnt with diesel oil. Plastic melts and bonds and is said to last very well. Experiment with that here – but using electric heat guns. 
Argus comment:  More homes for those who need them has to be good. Moulsecoomb Hub. Quite an achievement, creating more council housing will represent a huge chance for many families. (Review of Thatcherite policies) A real left wing choice by the council, looking to help people who need it. Another question is, will they remain as council houses and for how long? Or will Maggie’s ideas affect them one day?
Page 11 more letters:  Greens must go says Mark Williams of Edward Street. “Improvements” to Western Road. As usual, artist’s impression has one lone cyclist. Is it the same one from Valley Gardens? No mistake – council has no interest in improvements to benefit all, just handful of cyclists. I use a bike but it’s gone too far. An ex-Green supporter, am embarrassed by virtue-signalling schemes. The non-accountable ETS cttee is making decisions residents have no say in. Time PMacC apologised for the mess and they all resigned. 
I agree with Laura says Tim Ingram of address supplied. Laura King excellent letter yesterday. Accurate and well thought out. Green/Labour led council has long history of ignoring common sense in quest to impose idealistic policies. Hadn’t realised cllrs take an oath to serve, not sure they do, consistently fail residents/electorate. 
Page 12 Anger as work diverts traffic on to quiet street. Western Road diversion along Upper North Street. Petition started to reconsider. Now dangerous, with 700 buses and 850 taxis travelling east each day. Close shaves as vehicles mount pavements to avoid buses. Is a simple alternative – manage two way traffic on Western Road. Businesses also critical. Council say two-way management on Western Road not possible and would delay works by at least 6 months. [?? So yes it is possible, but works would take longer]  Council apologises for any inconvenience. 
Page 16  Saltdean Lido’s £7.5m restoration on track. Set to reopen later this year. 
Page 30  Brighton comes 3rd in the UK for restaurants, says Harden’s guide. Behind London and Edinburgh. Brighton third in number of restaurants listed in the guide. 
Thursday 12
Page 4  Bid to change how road safety calls are handled.  Cllrs to be asked to approve new system to make approval of schemes to make streets safer quicker. No longer based solely on how many crashes in an area. Will tic air quality, concerns about speeding and risk to pedestrians and cyclists. To support plans to encourage more to cycle or walk. Cllr Steve Davis, co-chair of ETS cttee says much more robust way of improving safety. [He seems to have made his mind up already although cttee meeting not till next week]  Council says it gets a lot of requests about road safety concerns. Currently funding limited to areas with most crashes, in bid to cut casualty rates. Leads to accusations that have got to have deaths. 
Page 9  Owners ‘being bullied’ into £3k fee for selling beach huts. Currently when owners sell, is a transfer fee of £82 to council. Proposal to make it 10% of overall price. Typically they sell for £29-£36,500 so potential fee could be £3,650. Fee increase of 3,500% !! Vox pop outraged. To be discussed at TECC cttee on Thursday. Council wants to cash in on asset it does not own and does nothing to maintain. Hove Beach Hut Association, founder cllr Robert Nemeth, encouraging members to write in to express views. It’s a sales tax, no provision to impose it. Could lead to revenge eviction. Cllr Martin Osborne, chair of the cttee says price rises are inevitable and necessary, increases proposed are proportionate to cost of providing (services).  
Page 10  on this day … Five years ago …  A beach hut owner has blasted the city council over a planned hike in charges. The licence fee was to have been increased by £36.80 to £404 plus a dramatic rise in selling-on fees by over £1,130, or 10% of the sale price …. standards of sea front care have deteriorated hugely and suspect they will continue to do so. Ridiculous to pay a % to council if I sell, get very poor service and imagine the huts will become virtually unsellable anyway.  [!! We are not told what in fact happened, but it seems that % of sale charge was rejected and a fixed fee imposed]
Argus comment – proposals to made changes before not after tragedy. In support of plans to change road safety criteria. Kick in teeth to parents campaigning for safety for their children to be told not enough accidents or deaths yet. Needs to be proper consultation still. Changes for all our sakes proactively, not specifically about cycling and pedestrians. A positive change. 
Letters:  Old Brewery ideas from S Zapello of address supplied. Fuss last year over issues regarding housing people with substance addiction there. Originally was for “luxury flats” but perhaps lack of parking an issue there. I believe NHS/council could use it to provide accommodation for people who can manage in community with minimum support from a resident warden. E.g. ideal for people on edge of autistic spectrum. Or, simpley providing affordable accommodation for young working people would be helpful.
Storm of chaos. Long letter from Laura King, of Fs of B&H Citizens’ Action Gp. About Western Road closure. A perfect storm orchestrated by those agents of chaos – B&H Green and Labour coalition council.  Two years of almost complete closure of Western Road, long diversions, long delays. Valley Gardens Phase 3 will bring another year of closures and disruptions, permanent bottleneck once Aquarium roundabout taken out and replaced with traffic lights. Cycle lanes on Madeira Drive and to be extended west on seafront taking out lanes. Hanover LTN with ‘pocket gardens’ etc and other schemes in central Hove. And council has just received another £200k for more cycle lanes. Ambulances – fire engines – will struggle. Traders and deliveries – may pull out and refuse to serve the city. And council has granted itself permission to redevelop Hove Lawns, it and Madeira Terraces redevelopment and Sea Lanes will require heavy plant traffic – and eastern seafront and Black Rock …..   Have busy calendar of events, marathons, biking and mod events etc all to be accommodated plus peak season holiday makers. Less and less parking and fewer and fewer amenities. Can it be a co-incidence all this happening at once? How will it play out in the May elections? Support Independents … gathering pace. Cllrs in power have forgotten their oaths to serve the people of city.
Page 12  Dozens of city bicycles on their way to Malawi. 110 old BTN BikeShare bikes from former scheme to be refurbished and sent to a charity in Chilomoni Township in Malawi. If the rest can’t be converted and used here will be recycled. Malawian vox pop very happy.
Wednesday 11
Page 4  Free fare offer for passengers under 19.  Good until 2025. Up to 4 children or young people aged 19 or under travel free when accompanied by a fare paying adult or with a concessionary pass. Excludes night routes. Also single journey for 50p for unaccompanied children and young people under 19 after 4 pm on weekdays and all day at weekend, excluding night routes. 
Page 10 Letters. Cost of not fixing potholes too high says Andy Leslie of Coolham Road West Grinstead. My daughter is a senior palliative care nurse, driving home to Rottingdean when car hit large pothole on Falmer Road, got a puncture at AA gave her a slot of 0800-1400 for the next day so had to take a day off work. Impact on her patients. Also saw several ambulances speeding past as she waited, all could have hit potholes with more immediate impact. Effective maintenance of this busy road would have prevented the puncture and associated risk. 
Page 11 Plans from Utopia says Eric Waters. “An imagined place in which everything is perfect” – as depicted in Argus computer-generated pictures of what Western Road will look like in 18 months time. No cars, just one obligatory cyclist. No graffiti, no overflowing rubbish bins, no-one begging, no pavements covered in wet slippery leaves from newly-planted trees, no protesters with banners and – the sun is blazing down and sky is blue. Someone, somewhere, in the Town Hall perhaps, is living in a different world.
Tuesday 10
Page 2  We were not threatening …   Contractors (putting in a cycle hanger) were “surrounded by a lot of unhappy residents” says council. Alternative version: One resident in Cissbury Road says he approached the contractors alone, and was threatened within 30 seconds with the Police. Barely got a word in. Four others subsequently joined him. No threats, no abuse. Lab cllr John Allcock raised it in full council. Highly inappropriate and unhelpful. This zealot-like behaviour will alienate citizens from engaging in active travel, rather than governing by consensus and support. The first hangar was welcomed, but not a second one. Parking problems with BHASVIC etc. Despite objections it was approved. 
Page 5  Weird items left in Brighton Travelodges.  An ice-cream van. A set of Missoni towels A 6ft cardboard rainbow. Two cases of Brighton gin. A marriage certificate. 20 gold star balloon bouquet. And at Hickstead, someone left a grandmother – that’s what it says !!
Page 6  All you need to know on Western Road works. Q & A article. Plan. 
Page 9  Schools look set to have their admission numbers slashed.  Downs Infant School and Hertford Infant School, and Hove Junior in Holland Road. After consultation which drew 7 responses and 27 attended a meeting. Without reduction, could be 531 places unfilled in September, with financial consequences. 
Page 10  Argus comment on Cissbury Road “incident”. Bike hangars causing quite a fuss. Some positioning has needed amendment but this idea was always going to be troublesome. Another attack on the motorist. Doesn’t have to be like that. Many places in city have no space for bikes. Look at hangars positively but does need healthy debate. Won’t get it right first time, recognise that and improve on it. 
Page 11  Letters – Counting hospitals. Eric Waters notes that medical statistics take the form, e.g.: There are 3,147 people in hospital with Covid. But in how many hospitals? Don’t know level of pressure medical staff are under if don’t know how load spread. Does average hospital have 30 or 300 Covid patients? Easy – go on line and ask. Not so. Found that there are 219 health trusts in England but many trusts run more than one hospital. So did an FOI request and was told someone else had already done that and response was “The Dept of Health does not hold the information you request”.  In other words, the government hasn’t a clue how many hospitals there are in England. [That’s astonishing, if true]
Page 15  Nursery is in building that needs £500,000 of repairs.  Petition of 1,500 parents etc to council asking for Bright Start Nursery not to be closed as a cost saving exercise. It’s based in the 19C Old Slipper Baths in Barrack Yard, off North Road.  It’s had a subsidy from council and some “pressure funding” but a condition survey carried out in 2019 highlighted defects and estimated costs of about £500,000 required. Since then nothing done, building has deteriorated and costs have spiralled. Bricks and stonework, heating system, light fittings and roofing. Now not feasible or cost-effective. Building not well suited for nursery provision. Also fire risk assessment problems. And – and – and – list goes on. Would not be closed until end of summer term. [And then what future for the building ??]
Page 16  Projects around the city to create more council houses.  Several projects in pipeline. Work to start in spring on 3 new 3-bed council homes in Rotherfield Crescent. Plans being progressed for up to 30 council homes in Eastergate Road, Moulsecoomb – modular construction preferred – move-on housing for young people with low level support needs.  Four new council homes in Frederick Street due to start soon.  Families soon moving into 42 council homes in Victoria Road, Portslade. Construction progressing well on 104 low cost homes in Wellington Road, Portslade and 242 in Coldean Lane.  More than half will be available as council homes on low rents, and rest available to buy through a shared ownership scheme from Hyde. Cllr David Gibson, co-chair of housing cttee, is proud to have one of most ambitious programmes of building new council homes in the country. Making most of council owned sites in city. Two developments due to deliver bulk of 176 truly affordable rented council homes next year, and exciting plans for more than 200 homes and new community hub in Moulsecoomb. 
Page 23  Toy museum regeneration fundraiser hits halfway mark. Museum undertaking major work to improve both own frontage and wider appearance of Trafalgar Street underpass. Will cost about £100,000 with three of bricked-up arches opened up and glazed, with new lighting. The Railway Heritage Trust has pledged 40% and the museum a further 10%.  Fundraising and donations added £15,000.  Top end of Trafalgar Street not most welcoming of places, want to improve it for museum, all businesses and North Laine. [Much about how the museum is so great. Can support it by paying £5 for a limited edition enamel museum badge – irresistible surely – up to a hand-crafted bespoke plaque for £200.  Or sponsor one of its top ten treasures. And use it for private parties etc, can have exclusive hire from 5 pm. Visit ]
Page 24  Brighton set to bounce back strongly from the ‘recession’.  So says The Irwin Mitchell City Tracker. Set to be among the fastest growing in terms of job creation when UK emerges from its recession in second half of 2023.  Brighton’s economy expected to grow by 1.1% year on year in fourth quarter of 2023. Large retail sector likely to struggle, but is a thriving knowledge-intensive business services sector set to be less affected by recession. 
Monday 9 

Page 2  Worthing’s loos – also have problems – after tour of them by a cllr she said the cost of works if done on every public toilet in the town, would reach £1m. So they have been prioritised. 
Page 4 – league table. Brighton in US ranking of cool places in UK.  Nomads Nation, American travel company, lists top 10 coolest places to live in UK, Brighton third, beaten by London and Portsmouth [??!! – that’s what it says]  Hove is a quieter option. The Lanes have everything you could ever want. But is expensive to rent and might not give the big city feel [whereas Portsmouth does ??].  But you can sit on the stony beach gazing at the iconic skeleton of West Pier….  [irresistible … ]
Page 5  Giant pothole in Elm Grove is 3ft by 2ft by 8″ deep. Council say a repair has been arranged. Please report potholes to the council.
Page 10 Letters. Council is wasting more of our money says John Gander of Telscombe Cliffs. The light installation along Madeira Terrace. Told continually of miss-expenditure by government. But council has all but picked the pockets of the Madeira Arch funding by spending 25 grand on neon lighting to light up a building site for all to gather there to enjoy grubby building site hoarding opposite, and road works. The seasonal bike lane and pathetic insufficient street lighting replaced the ornamental historic lights that lit the place up like a sea side strip. All for supporting local traders, but money could have gone to restoration of the arches or changing the droves of dead lightbulbs along the seafront lamp post strings. And if it is a different budget, could have given it to children’s wards and organisations. The Green Dream is a Nightmare. 
Page 15  Bus passengers warned of 18 months of roadworks.  From Monday, eastbound buses will be routed left from the Western Road Montpelier junction, up to junction of Montpelier Terrace, then right into Montpelier Terrace, continuing into Upper North Street and then right into Regent Hill. No mention of the outcry from residents of Upper North Street. 
Saturday 7
Page 2  League table One.  Census says it’s officially ‘gayest city in England’.  City has largest proportion of lesbian, gay and bisexual people in England and Wales according to latest census data. 10.73% of residents identify as such. 
League table Two. Terre a Terre in East Street named as being amongst best in the world for vegans. In the top ten, so says the Financial Times so it must be true. 
Page 11 Tory Talk Steve Bell.  All change in the ward boundaries for May election. Last time boundaries updated was 2003 following merger of old Brighton and Hove boroughs.  That had brought 78 cllrs, reduced to 54 in 2003. Boundary Commission has reviewed city in nine stages in 2021-2022 with final recommendations in October.  Lab-Green had requested more cllrs, but commission decided 54 was enough. Cllr expenses are already costing close to £1m a year for 54, any increase would have added to that burden. Some controversial suggestions dealt with. Result is significant changes with only a handful remaining unchanged. Big improvement for Kemp Town, previously divided into three, now all in one. So in May a chance to elect a brand new council with new priorities. 
Page 12  Surveying work now under way ahead of terrace restoration.  Specialist contractors will be surveying the condition of the East Cliff wall this week. Council says over time the Green Wall of Japanese Spindle plants has colonised the cliff and the wall behind has been overcoated with different generations of concrete and lime mortars during development and maintenance of the terrace. Got to inspect all this. Rope access team to be deployed. Will carefully work around colonised bays and Green Wall. Information gathered will help minimise maintenance of wall when it reopens.
Page 14  £200k to boost cycling and walking round city. Government grant to help councils develop better designed walking and cycling schemes. Council will use money to support existing projects including small and medium businesses getting eCargo bikes, community walking projects, a walking festival in June and more. 
Page 18  Public have been led up the garden path.  Old Brewery in Portslade. Supposed to be a community space but application in for change of use to commercial. Original planning consent was for 37 self-contained flats, some employment floorspace, 11 new build homes and 47 parking spaces and community space. Application is for a gym in part of the building. Local objections. Had expected artists studios and galleries, a community space and a cafe. Not happening. Change of use would allow almost anything  – Tesco, takeaway, charity shop – inconsistent with CA. Planning committee advised to approve. 
Thursday 5
Pages 4 and 5 – headlines:  Dead Puppy Washes Up. [Sorry]   Man spots UFOs in skies above Hove. “It is worth entertaining the possibility it was beings of another world.” 
Page 10 Letters  It’s not a salary says Hon Alderman Ken Norman. When cllr Barnett, my wife Ann and I were elected cllrs was no annual financial allowance, we could claim small allowances for things and went through a process to make clear it was not a salary. Then thought appropriate to introduce a standard annual allowance to help cllrs in their role, never a salary, just to help members who did not have employment elsewhere. Worked well until some members now appear to think of it as a form of full time salary, not sure why.
Pubs of the past, remembered by name and address supplied. Sad to read future of the Colonnade Bar may be in doubt – time will tell. Has long association with Theatre Royal as did The Wheatsheaf in Bond Street, there was an alley linking it to New Road. Once saw some of Pink Floyd drinking there. Closed about 1970. Had really unique atmosphere but happily Brighton can still boast a good number of old pubs, all add to the fun despite tough times. 
Page 12.  Mustn’t laugh department. £25k artwork breaks five days after it is unveiled. The bright green illuminated neon graffiti installation along Madeira Terrace.  Water damage. But it is now working again. 

Wednesday 4

Page 2  Motor bikes are parking on the pavement against the  cycle hangars making them unusable. Vox pop frustrated. Everyone else pays for parking but motorbike bays are free. Jolly unfair.
Page 10 Letters. What kind of council fails to provide public loos? asks Cllr Peter Atkinson (Indep) North Portslade.  We often walk to Brighton from Portslade, appalled most public toilets along route are closed. Ditto in Pavilion Gardens and in Portslade. Unacceptable. Aware of council cutbacks etc but to close basic public provision to save money is intolerable and untenable. Many embarrassed and distressed. Must be agreement between all cllrs that re-opening them gets highest priority. And budget for service to be maintained. Difficult choices – but what sort of council in a busy seaside resort cannot provide such an essential public service?
Super starlings says Christine Luffman of Rotherfield Crescent. Good news re petition for their future safety. We have a stock of juicy sultanas waiting for them which they adore and devour at great speed. 
Page 16  Bid to create Silicon Valley of the UK.  Jon Lucas and Jake Madders of Hyve, newly established in Circus Street, plan to bring 100 new skilled jobs to city with their tech company. “We love Brighton, it’s such a cool city and we can see it becoming the Silicon Valley of the UK.” A great place to find people skilled in IT. And have potential to train young people, and internships. Are recruiting steadily. They provide online services for companies and host servers. 
Tuesday 3
Page 3  Large section of coastal cliff collapses. Near Peacehaven, following heavy rain. 
Page 5  Medina House remains unsold!  Views to English Channel, recording studio and 5 bedrooms. Zen inspired garden and “underfloor heating boosted by automatically operated fan-assisted trench heaters” and a Kef sound system. All yours for £15m.
Page 6  City issued 239,025 parking fines last year. Worst road was Boundary Road with 6226. Next worst Madeira Drive, 2463 [big difference].  
Page 10 Letters.  We need councillors to be part of economy, says Cllr Dawn Barnett (Con, Hangleton)  Re letter from Eric Waters about cllrs getting paid jobs. Is a misapprehension among some newer cllrs that their allowances are “wages” to be lived off. A Green cllr complained about having to look for a part-time job. A cllr is a position of service with allowances to cover the expenses incurred. Not wages. Cllrs should aim to be in a stable financial position to best fulfil their duties. Plenty of vacant jobs, much better if cllrs of working age are engaging in local economy rather than living off their allowances. The council advertised for 12 “weeding operatives” to clear weeds, but only 3 appointed – are many other vacancies – apply for one and understand what is gong on in the city.
Page 11 Free parking is key, says G Upton of address supplied. Lewes – free parking on Sundays and bank hols, and free, open, working public conveniences. Many varied independent shops and free parking every Saturday in December. Brighton’s loss was Lewes’s gain. Chichester offered reduced parking over the holiday period, and parking for Arundel’s Christmas market was free, bought more presents. Sharp contrast to Brighton, went to Christmas market and left after 15 minutes, bought nothing. 
Page 12  Royal Pavilion to be open for free weekend of 14/15 January. Museum will be open too.
Page 14  Priest launches walking guide. Thirty walks from Brighton Station. £9.99 from  Paperbacks from Amazon for £11.99 also in Kindle and soon in local shops. Designed to be a practical handbook for exploring the city and its surrounds – 266 sights listed in the index. Covers area from Bramber Castle to Southease and Newhaven. Some circular, some with public transport back. One mile to 18 miles. 
Page 23  Thousands close their doors for the last time. 2,125 businesses closed in city in 2021, up from 1670 in 2020. But 2,360 new businesses began trading. “It meant a total of 17,070 businesses were active in area, down from 18,225 in year before” [?? that doesn’t add up]
Page 24  Tattoo parlours and fast-food chains take over high street. According to research from Ordnance Survey into Brighton’s high streets. Number of banks steeply down.  Brighton/Hove apparently has 10 high streets – not identified – and banks are down by 16.7%.  Brighton has seen the largest increase in supermarket chains, tattoo parlours, fast food restaurants and cafés. 

Monday 2

Page 2 5G mast plan is blasted as ‘as act of vandalism’.  Proposal for a 20m mast on the footpath in Dyke Road next to St Nicholas church. Huge local outcry, unsurprisingly. Seventy objections already. Dominate area, taller than most if not all surrounding buildings, eyesore from almost all angles, ruin the view of Brighton’s oldest church. Ugly and horribly intrusive. To put mast here is an act of vandalism. Three (the mast putter-uppers) say they carry out extensive searches and evaluate a wide range of options before submitting any planning applications
Page 19  How developers’ cash has been spent in city. Section 106 agreements and CIL payments. Over the last year £5m raised from s.106:  Coldean Lane £1.2m; Lyon Close £737,000;  St Aubyn’s School £667,000;  Pelham Street £469,000 and Kings House £318,000.  Spent on:  Varndean School improvements, pedestrian sustainable transport improvements, new play area and fitness facility, public art at Circus Street, Rain Garden at Moulsecoomb Primary (£75,000), St Anne’s Well gardens.   In 2021/22 council entered into 42 planning agreements resulting in 132 new affordable homes built, including Victoria Road. More money raised from CIL – £378,000. Planning applications have the potential to reach contributions of around £1,500,000 by summer 2023 [what’s included in that figure – it must be assuming everything gets approved]  
A league table!  Safest places to live – Brighton does not come top. Survey of burglaries per 1000 people, by  Safest place is South Devon and Dartmoor [nothing to steal there]at 0.63. Worst was Middlesbrough at 7.86. Brighton scored 1.97 so not too bad. 
Page 29  And another!  Brighton is one of the worst cities in the UK at dealing with colds, says cold remedy company Olbas. Sheffield is the hardiest. They found that as well as being able to go about their daily business, they also take the fewest sick days. [Irresponsibly spreading their germs to their workmates? Extreme financial need? We are not told]  Brighton came 17th out of 20. [Southern softies]